Traditional Bandhani Sarees of West India

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Bandhani sarees are known for their unique designs, colours and exclusive features. The outfit is made with the help of tie and dye method of designing. High quality of fabric is used for the creation process. This saree is mainly produced in Gujarat.


Bandhani is an ancient long type of women’s outfit and believed to be started during 5th century AD in West India. It depicts a number of designs of Ajanta murals. Among a number of designs and patterns, many can be seen in vicious curves. Bandhani crafts were originated in Punjab and Sind provinces of current Pakistan. Most of the Bandhani crafts belong to communities like Rangrez, Khatri, Punjabi Chavda, Chhipa and Neelgar. These indigenous groups are involved in manufacturing Bandhani sarees employing various methods. The best part about such textiles is that they always come up with something new for wears by making their apparels look exclusive.

Bandhani odhnis and sarees are made of mulberry silk and cotton. These are worn by women of all religions, casts and creeds. Ethnic clothing is designed beautifully by embellishing it with unique and stunning materials. In ancient time there was a belief that wearing Bandhani saree can bring fortune. Ajanta walls depict a number of evidences of Ajanta saris. The traditional outfit has been worn by females for a long time and known for its extinguish style and pattern. In today’s time as well many women of tribal and ethnic groups love to wear these sarees, but those are cheaper saris. Traditionally these sarees are worn by rich wearers. So the price range also varies for Bandhani sarees in Western India.

The traditional Bandhani sarees are well known throughout West India and their manufacturing hubs are in Ahmedabad, Bhuj and Jamnagar in Gujarat. Though Gujarat is an Indian state of West India, it is also known for producing some of the quality apparels including Bandhani sarees. There are several hubs for textile industry where craftsmen migrate to design beautiful clothing. Some of the hubs include Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Bikaner, Sikar and Jodhpur. Bandhani sarees mainly have five categories. These sarees are produced by merging a wide range of colours and designs. Some of them are made by adding different colours with variant sizes of borders. Most commonly black and red colours are used to the creation process. Panetar saree is a commonly clothing worn by most Gujarati women in Hindu weddings and special social gatherings.

Artisans of this part of the world have expertise to produce sarees with single or multiple colours. The tie and dyed spots are known for their exclusive designs. These spots are mainly famous in Western India. Motifs are also produced within compartments of these sarees. Some common motifs found in these sarees include flowers, parrots and animals and dancing girls. Zari work is also very popular for these types of sarees. Carefully women sarees are known for their ethnic look.

Gharchola is a well-known wedding saree for Jain and Hindu weddings. Earlier these sarees were made of cotton but these days they got another substitute i.e. silk. These sarees are commonly gifted on festivals like Teej and Holi in Rajasthan. The outfit is also known for their vibrant colours known as lahariya. Festive season in West India is celebrated by wearing beautiful traditional clothing. So, the importance of Bandhani saree is also at the peak during festivals.

Apart from designing different types of Bandhani sarees, artisans employ various processes to come up with something new every time for the best outfit. Bandhani spots also have distinguished names according to their spot sizes such a bindi, kori, ghatadi and chundadi.  Matichar is another spot which is closely tied to create a beautiful block of colour.

Bandhani sarees are beautifully designed as per the specific community. Rituals and special occasions are also kept in mind while creating these sarees. Artisans come up with sarees for Raksha bandhan in which brothers gift these types of sarees to their sisters. Dyeing technique is employed for the creation process of these saris. Block printing is also applied in the screen printing and borders of these traditional attires.